Developing Your Ideas

Development and Focus

Kate Kiefer, English Department
Development and focus go hand in hand. Writers find it extremely difficult to include lots of specific detail if they haven't focused narrowly, mainly because it's hard to move a reader quickly from a very wide view to a very detailed support. Having established a narrow focus, however, writers need to provide detailed support for that focus, and so these are the skills most college writing assignments stress.

The focus of your writing is the main idea you convey. Focus is what guides how you develop your ideas. For instance, perhaps your focus is proving a scientific concept incorrect through an experiment you conducted. You would then develop your report by describing what you did, your results, and how your experiment disproves the concept. Or, perhaps you're writing to disagree with a philosophical concept. You would then develop your essay by presenting the concept and the reasons why you disagree with it. These reasons might be your opinions, criticisms from another philosopher, or perhaps even interviews with instructors.

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